|Song for Amancio (5/7/08)|
Anne James, a Yuma singer and songwriter, sings at a ceremony to observe the anniversary of the murder of Amancio Corrales. Video by Ryan Brennecke/The Sun
|Amancio Corrales memorial (5-7-08)|
Michael Baughman, founder of the Amancio Project, speaks at a ceremony to observe the anniversary of the murder of Amancio Corrales. Video by Ryan Brennecke
|Filmmaker discusses Corrales documentary (5/29/08)|
Documentary filmmaker Tom Murray speaks about why he chose to create a film about Amancio Corrales and the Amancio Project. Video by Janet Chasse/The Sun
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Film crew in Yuma for documentary on Corrales murder
Two independent documentary filmmakers are in Yuma this week to shoot film around town and conduct interviews as part of their documentary about the 2005 murder of a gay man in Yuma.
The film will feature Michael Baughman of Yuma and the Amancio Project, a campaign Baughman started to keep public attention focused on the murder of Amancio Corrales, said the director, T. Joe Murray.
Corrales' body was found on May 6, 2005, floating in shallow water about 500 feet west of Paradise Cove, just west of Joe Henry Park, with multiple stab wounds. He was dressed as a woman when his body was discovered. Authorities believe he had spent the night bar-hopping with friends.
Ruben Solorio, 23, of 2202 W. 17th St., was arrested in Corrales' killing and is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 6 on a charge of manslaughter in Yuma County Superior Court.
"I thought it made for an interesting story," Murray said. "I think with these types of stories, we read about them, but there is always something more to it."
Murray said he initially planned for the documentary to spotlight several groups and organizations across the country that responded to "hate crimes" within their communities against gays and lesbians, but changed his mind after an initial visit here earlier this year.
He said he was particularly intrigued by Baughman's involvement in the case and why he decided to form the Amancio Project.
"It's really about three very different cultures," said Murray, of Sarasota, Fla. "An older gay man, the Corrales family and their background, and the gay community."
He added, "the murder involved a young Hispanic male he had never met and he is not part of the Hispanic community."
Stu Maddox, of Los Angeles, will be filming and editing the documentary, which Murray said will eventually be shown in film festivals.
A 23-year-old gay man and cosmetologist, Corrales also performed as a female impersonator known as Dalila impersonating famous singers. Corrales lived in Phoenix and performed at a gay bar, Paco Paco, until the weekend he was killed - the same weekend he moved back to Yuma to live with his family.
Murray and Maddox will be in Yuma until Friday. They said they will travel to Phoenix on that day to speak to people Corrales knew there. Murray said they will return to Yuma later this year to finish up.
One thing Murray said he hopes his film brings out is how much love the Corrales family had for Amancio, despite that he was gay.
"His family remained loving and supportive of him," Murray said. "It's clear his death has been devastating and tragic to this family."
Yuma County sheriff's deputies arrested Solorio on May 23, 2007, at Express Lube, 1900 S. 4th Ave., where he had been working, in connection with the killing of Corrales. An anonymous written tip led to Solorio's arrest.
He was booked into Yuma County jail on one count of second-degree murder in Corrales' death, but a grand jury later indicted him on a charge of manslaughter, according to court records.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.